About Turo

You’ve always dreamed of cruising Route 66 — just not in a standard sedan. Enter Turo: This peer-to-peer carsharing service is kind of like AirBnb, except instead of allowing hosts to offer spare rooms, you can transform your idling assets into an earning machine.

For folks who are in need of wheels, Turo works to differentiate itself from the standard car rental service by promising you your pick of the lot. Whether it's an F-150 truck to help out on moving day, a Tesla for a luxurious weekend away, or a classic VW bus for a picture-perfect road trip, Turo claims to help travelers rent the car and own the adventure.

However, anyone who’s ever rented a car the knows the process comes with its fair share of hoops. Who hasn’t fretted over whether or not to buy full coverage or wondered if they missed a scratch during the initial walk around?

Let’s take a closer look to see if Turo really offers enough support to hand over keys or get you into the driver’s seat.

How To Rent a Car With Turo

With a presence in over 2,500 cities and 300 airports, the chances are that there’s an opportunity to rent with Turo wherever you’re traveling stateside.

Why would you choose Turo? They claim to offer:

  • Choice: Hundreds of unique cars for every occasion and every budget.
  • Value: The car you want, when and where you want it, at up to 30% less than traditional agencies.
  • Accessibility: The chance to book cars from home or on the go.

Feeling revved up? Here’s how Turo works.

First, you’ll need to sign up for Turo with Facebook, Google, or your email. They need to confirm your identity and eligibility so you can become an approved driver, so you might want to take this step before arriving.

Using either Turo’s app or their website, you enter your travel dates and location for locally owned cars. Once you find a set of wheels you like, you’ll have to request to rent it. The owner can either confirm or decline your request within eight hours. However, some vehicles are available immediately, thanks to a “Book Instantly” badge.

Turo claims that picking up your rental is easy, promising that many owners will deliver their vehicle to you. More so, Turo claims all you have to do is “walk around the car, show them your license, grab the keys, and drive off into the sunset.”

When you’re done? Replace the gas you’ve used, do-si-do one more walk around, and hand over the keys before planning your next adventure.

Your Responsibilities As a Turo Renter

Turo doesn’t require you to have your own insurance. Instead, they offer renters three choices to cover their physical damage obligations:

  • “Premium” Package: The renter’s out-of-pocket exposure is limited to payment of a deductible of $500. When damage is reported, the renter will be charged $500. If the total costs are less than $500, the renter will be refunded the difference.
  • Basic” Package: The renter’s out-of-pocket exposure is limited to a payment of a deductible of $3000 under the same structure described in the Premium package.
  • “Decline Coverage” Package: The renter’s financial responsibility is essentially unlimited, and is bounded only by the actual cash value of the car, plus all related costs. This means that if the car is lost, stolen, or damaged so extensively that the expected cost of repairs exceeds 75% of the actual cash value, the renter is responsible to pay the entire actual cash value of the car.

Those considering renting with Turo are encouraged to view their entire explanation of insurance and protection provisions here. Additionally, if you already have auto insurance, you’re generally covered for any physical damage or liability claims that you’re responsible for — even if you don’t own the vehicle. Of course, you should always check with your carrier before renting a car.

Note that because Turo isn’t considered a valid car rental service by many credit card companies, the coverage you might normally expect from your Visa or Mastercard may not apply.

Fine print aside, what responsibilities does a Turo renter really take on?

Much like AirBnb or Uber, Turo is based on the trust implicit in today’s growing sharing economy. Basically: You break it, you pay for it.

That means that if your Turo rental gets a flat tire, you’re responsible for fixing it — unless you can prove that the flat is the result of a defect or preexisting excessive wear.

It also means that renters are encouraged to get photo-happy with tons of “before” pics when getting the keys, since you can be held responsible for any pre-existing damage that wasn’t documented at the start of your trip.

Again, we’re assuming you’re not here to read through a thorough rundown of Turo’s fine print. So, if you’re considering car sharing through their service, we recommend studying their coverage FAQs before deciding if the service is right for you.

How To Share Your Car With Turo

Is your car collecting dust? Turo claims that a car with a market value of $18,000 could earn an owner $5,781 over 15 days of sharing per month. Sure, that estimate is averaged over a year, but Turo says they have the data to back it up.

If that potential extra income caught your attention, here’s the three ways Turo lets you earn:

  • Local pickup: You can enjoy the convenience of renting your car right out of your own driveway.
  • Deliver your car: Or earn even more by meeting guests at nearby airports and other local locations.
  • Park and earn: Drivers willing to leave their car at San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX) airports for two weeks at a time can earn at least a guaranteed extra $425 a month.

How it works is fairly straightforward: You create a listing for your spare car, respond to requests, meet at your chosen location, then “kick back and earn.”

Of course, Turo’s claims of easy pocket cash sounds hunky dory. But, what happens if someone takes a wrong turn into Risky Business territory with your immaculately maintained pride and joy?

Turo offers car owners coverage with a $1 million insurance policy. This includes protection against physical damage up to your car’s actual cash value for collision and most “comprehensive” causes, including theft.

This is good, because most personal lines auto insurance companies specifically exclude livery and rentals from coverage. And, if they find out you’re regularly renting your car, it can be grounds for terminating your policy—a decision that could come back to haunt you when you’re shopping around for replacement coverage (most applications ask, “Has your coverage ever been canceled or declined for underwriting reasons?”).

Heck, Turo even offers you up to $30 a day should your car get into an accident while being rented out — plus the promise that they’ll be there to guide you every step of the way.

But, what about the legality of renting out your car? Some might find Turo’s answer less reassuring. Essentially, there’s no law against doing so, but this probably wouldn’t be a risk that most standard personal lines auto carriers would knowingly insure. Turo leaves the final liability resting on your shoulders.

What Are People Saying About Turo?

Turo has a little under 700 Yelp reviews from users in their two main hubs, San Francisco and Los Angeles. In both locations, Turo averages four out of five stars.

However, that isn’t to say that those who’ve used Turo don’t have their fair share of negative feedback. In fact, if you look at Turo’s Los Angeles reviews, it’s a wonder that they scraped above a single star, given that the first page is almost exclusively complaints.

Bad reviews almost exclusively revolve around poor experiences with Turo’s customer service. Here are some highlights:

  • Johnny R. (12/22/15): Owner states that his car was returned with damage and that Turo refused to cover repairs.
  • Paul K. (1/26/16) Renter states that he was charged for cleaning when it wasn’t needed and he was left with an overall impression that Turo squeezes pennies out at every opportunity.
  • Michael C. (11/18/2015) Renter states that he used Turo without a problem, but found his account put on hold afterward and couldn’t reach customer service for an answer — up to seven days later.

Those reviews aren’t cherry picked, either — they’re one after another on page one of Turo’s Los Angeles Yelp page.

Should You Use Turo For Car Sharing?

On one hand, Wired points out that the horror stories we used to associate with peer-to-peer sharing are becoming much less prevalent. “We now worry about Airbnb’s effect on real-estate markets, or whether Uber has undue influence over local governments.”

However, sharing a car comes with far more liabilities than renting out a spare apartment!

While Turo’s concept sounds great, reviews give a solid impression that they have a few more kinks to iron out before providing a desirable service.

For owners considering sharing, realize that it’s not just the market value of your vehicle that you’re putting on the line. Despite their catchy messaging and fun-for-all attitude, it appears that they skirt over some of the more serious legal ramifications of sharing your car.

What if the driver seriously injures or, heaven forbid, kills someone in an accident? What if they drive drunk? A 1 million policy doesn’t begin to cover some of those worst-case scenarios, and Turo’s it’s-up-to-you attitude regarding legalities isn’t very reassuring.

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493 Consumer Reviews for Turo

Average Consumer Rating: 3.8
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 321 4 star: 27 3 star: 5 2 star: 12 1 star:  128
Bottom Line: 71% would recommend it to a friend
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  • Editor’s Note: It is our understanding that this company has been asking its customers to leave feedback on HighYa. We assure you that each of these reviews has still been subjected to the same verification & vetting process that all submitted reviews go through. Learn More Here
  • 9 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Do not use Turo

    • Houston,
    • Jun 2, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    Do not trust Turo. They charged me for a damage although I returned the vehicle in the same condition. I asked them for any evidence but they did not respond. Be careful.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Jun 13, 2017

      Hanna Bolanos

      Hi Ahmet,

      My name is Hanna Bolaños. I'm with the ABC7 Chicago investigative team. Someone recently sent us an email about a negative experience with Turo car rental, formerly known as Relay Rides. I'd like to ask you a few questions about your experience. You can email me at Hanna.P.Bolanos@abc.com, or call me at 312-750-7322.

      Thanks,

      Hanna

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Awful Customer Service

    • Nashville, TN,
    • Jun 27, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    After inquiring about Turo, setting up an account, sending in three pictures of my photo identification, verifying my account via SMS text message, and entering in my credit card information, I was declined membership without a specific reason. There was no reason as to why, as they said I didn't “meet their criteria.” What criteria could that be? Someone will and able to pay a company for the use of cars? If there was a zero star option, i would have chosen it.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 13 out 13 people found this review helpful

    Bad for car owners

    • Chicago ,
    • Jun 21, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    Car owners stay away. I had few cars that I wanted to make money on. When they were smaller it was easy to communicate, all claims were paid. Now one of my cars is stolen and no one does anything about it, second car has scratches all over my bumper that they don't want to pay for, the other one has a 2 inch dent on the door and because it's less than 3 inches they refused to cover it as well. Poor customer service in claims department makes it hard.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 10 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Never again!

    • Chicago, IL,
    • Jul 3, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    This company will try to scam you any way that they can. I was charged for an airport delivery that I never received and a ticket that was on the car before I got there. They refused to help me with this and the customer service was absolutely terrible. I will never use this company again. They will scam you!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Turo is inconsiderate of Community

    • California,
    • Jul 14, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    You might think that car sharing is a great idea. That is, until the owner of a fleet of 10+ cars decides to use your residential parking area to park their cars.

    Turo doesn't care because they don't own the cars and they don't care where their renters park their cars (as long as they make money). They don't care that local laws are being broken (rental cars may not be stored on city streets in our city). We are simply unfortunate enough to live close to the airport, and it would take a full-time parking enforcement officer to deal with this all day long.

    They could solve this in a minute by shutting down the account of the offender, but I guess that would cause them to lose money. Well, you know, Turo, sometimes it takes a little sacrifice to be a good community member. I will never use your service and I will discourage anyone from using this service at every opportunity that I get.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 10 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Expensive and awful customer service.

    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Jul 28, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    I used Turo to rent a car. The insurance rate pushed by Turo is over 25 dollars a day (like 10,000 a year) and covers nothing. The deductible is $3500. Thanks God I did not need it.

    But, they will get money out of your credit card for anything. I had a transponder for any toll fees in the car. Apparently, I did not work at one toll bridge plaza. It would have been an easy fix with one call to the bridge authority as this happens. However, Turo jumped to the opportunity and used the credit card on file to pay fines and administrative fees. They would not give an opportunity to fix the ticket because they wanted to make money out it. At the end, I paid close to seventy dollars on fees.

    The cost of the rental car? Three times as it would have been without Turo taking advantage of my credit card on file. Needless to say, I cancel the credit card as I cannot have people like them knowing my account information.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Terrible experience with Turo.

    • Min,
    • Jul 31, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    Renting from Turo has been one of the most negative experiences I've ever had with a travel company.

    I rented from them for five days and on my way to return the car, got a chip in the windshield. I reported the damage and fully expected to pay about $350 for a new windshield. A few days after I reported it, I got an email from them saying there were going to charge me $500 towards the damage initially and follow up once they received an estimate. Than I got an email saying the estimate was $1000 (for a new windshield) and they were going to automatically charge my credit card.

    I called their customer service and they gave me a number direct to the claim agent. Not surprisingly, her mailbox was full, she never answered and every time I called, she was "in a meeting". Included in the damage estimate was $150 worth of processing costs, seriously?

    I will never use Turo again under any circumstances and would advise anyone against using them. So disappointing.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Jun 13, 2017

      Hanna Bolanos

      Hi Cameron,

      My name is Hanna Bolanos. I'm with the ABC7 Chicago Investigative team. We recently received an email regarding a negative customer experience with Turo involving damage, and I'd like to ask you some specific questions about your experience. Please email me at Hanna.P.Bolanos@abc.com or call me at (312) 750-7322.

      Thank you!

      Hanna

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  • 13 out 13 people found this review helpful

    Total insurance scam in my opinion!

    • Chicago, IL,
    • Jul 31, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    Recently purchased a clean title Honda Civic 2016 and put it on the app.

    I chose the basic insurance plan that claims to cover any damage up to 1 million (turo charges 25% for that)..So I felt safe...

    The first trip was long from from July 3 to July 19. I was happy that I will make some money on it. Hpwever, long story short, I received my brand new vehicle in a horrible condition, all seats were stained it smelled like someone smoked the entire time in the car.

    In the morning I took it to a car wash. After the car came back from a wash I saw a huge dent on a left side and the sunroof was popped open. I double checked pictures that renter submitted after the trip and found out that they occurred at the time of the trip.

    So I immediately submitted a claim.

    Turo got back to me few days after asked for pictures, then they disappeared.So I reached out to them. Their answer was a total surprise. They said that the car is not eligible for coverage! So it was eligible when they charged me all this money and now it's just what it is.

    Their claim department doesn't have any direct line so good luck with reaching them. Claim specialist Tiffany, doesn't know how to read Carfax reports. It's just so upsetting. So the ending of a story, I make $528 Turo made $176 just on me plus what they charge the renter and I lost $1200.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Jun 21, 2017

      Hanna Bolanos

      Hi Natalia,

      My name is Hanna Bolaños. I'm with the ABC7 Chicago investigative team. Someone recently sent us an email about a negative experience with Turo car rental, formerly known as Relay Rides, and I'd like to ask you a few questions about your experience. You can email me at Hanna.P.Bolanos@abc.com, or call me at 312-750-7322.

      Thanks,

      Hanna

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  • 10 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Turo rental broken into and I'm to blame

    • San Fransisco, CA,
    • Aug 11, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was looking forward to renting a car through Turo. I had heard good things and was thrilled to use something other than a traditional car rental company. I rented a Mini Cooper in San Francisco. On the first night of my trip the car was broken into and all of our luggage was stolen (including mac books, cameras, and all of our clothing). We notified the car owner right away and he was very understanding. I stayed up until 2:00am reading Turo's terms and conditions and found that just to submit a claim I would be charged a $500 deposit (that it sure sounded like I wouldn't be getting back).

    So I reached out to my insurance and they covered 80% of the costs. At this time the car owner submitted a claim. His insurance is through Turo and he was very happy to report there would be no fees (to him, they even go so far to infer to him that I wouldn't be charged either).

    That's when I started speaking with a Turo employee who informed me though my insurance had already covered 80% of fees I would still be charged the $500 "deposit". Low and behold that deposit would cover the car owners deductible, BIG SHOCK the Turo deductible is $500.

    I was robbed, my insurance covered the majority of a $400 repair, and somehow I still walked away spending $500. This is an absolute scam. Do not use Turo.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Jun 21, 2017

      Hanna Bolanos

      Hi Ashley,

      My name is Hanna Bolaños. I'm with the ABC7 Chicago investigative team. Someone recently sent us an email about a negative experience with Turo car rental, formerly known as Relay Rides, and I'd like to ask you a few questions about your experience. You can email me at Hanna.P.Bolanos@abc.com, or call me at 312-750-7322.

      Thanks,

      Hanna

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Poor customer service

    • San Diego, CA,
    • Aug 18, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    Very legit company but just hope nothing goes wrong. The customer service support often take over 2 business days to address issues and concerns. Very big hole in the administration that will prove costly to the organization in the long run.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Be aware! Turo membership declined. Great driving record over 25 years.

    • New York,
    • Sep 17, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    Don't waste your time with the application as they denied my application for no reason, and do not release the details of these decisions.

    "Turo has carefully reviewed your application and has made the final decision to not move forward with your membership. Turo does not release the details of these decisions, due to their proprietary nature."

    Proprietary nature?

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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